Louis Vuitton Acquires Work By Feminist Artist Betty Parsons

Louis Vuitton Acquires Work By Feminist Artist Betty Parsons

Peter Marino adds to Louis Vuitton's growing art collection.

Peter Marino adds to Louis Vuitton's growing art collection.

Text: Devin Barrett

Peter Marino, the world renowned leather-clad architect (and serious art collector), has brought work from Betty Parsons, an abstract painter and sculptor, to Louis Vuitton’s New York flagship.

Peter Marino, Courtesy Louis Vuitton/BFA

Much like craftsmanship and travel are ingrained in the house’s rich heritage, art is also key to Vuitton’s monogrammed DNA. There’s the eye-catching artist collaborations, including those by Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and most recently Jeff Koons. There’s also the Frank Gehry-designed Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, an architectural sculpture in itself. The space is currently housing “Being Modern: MoMA in Paris,” which explores MoMA’s history of collection, highlighting works from the likes of Alexander Calder, Jasper Johns, and Ludwig Mies van Der Rohe. In New York, Vuitton carries this thread of exhibition to its greatly impressive Olivier Saillard-curated show, Volez Voyagez Voguez, which spotlights the house’s unique heritage, and is open to the public through January 7th, 2018 (at 86 Trinity Place). And on Fifth Avenue, the unveiling of Betty Parsons’s 1972 work "African Dawn" strikes a robustly relevant chord.

Parsons is best known as a dealer of mid-century art, and for her namesake gallery where she championed female artists, artists of color, tribal art, and artifacts not considered to be art at the time. She tore up the script and shifted the narrative of female artists of the 20th century. Her eye for innovative talent stemmed from her own training and work as an artist.

"African Dawn, 1972" by Betty Parsons, Courtesy Louis Vuitton/BFA

The fluid piece (in Marino's favorite shade of chartreuse) hangs in the entryway of the Marino-designed jewel box. A sense of intimacy rings throughout the grand space. After all, the acquisition of "African Dawn, 1972" is a homecoming of sorts—Parsons’s gallery was right across the street from Vuitton’s Maison on 57th Street. At a recent cocktail unveiling of the vibrant painting, Marino fondly remembered the striking nature of her work from gallery jaunts in high school describing it as “a staggeringly beautiful combination of sculptures and paintings.” "African Dawn, 1972" hangs alongside a myriad of noteworthy works and artists. And what better way to peruse the latest offerings from Nicolas Ghesquière and Kim Jones than beside works by Todd Eberle, Yayoi Kusama and Farhad Moshiri? They’re here too.

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